Each year, from 1st – 7th June, it is Volunteers’ Week, an opportunity to thank and celebrate volunteers who give up their time to make a difference.
Volunteer roles vary greatly and at Trust Links we have an opportunity to suit everyone. We have over 80 active volunteers, but we are also pleased to team up with other voluntary groups who help us maintain the historic St Laurence Orchard on Eastwoodbury Lane in Southend.
On Monday we had a work party of volunteers, Trust Links staff, and members, who all spent the day tackling the spring growth at the Orchard that dates back almost 100 years. Mike Steele, 73, volunteers with the South East Essex Conservation Volunteers two to three times a week and says he finds it satisfying.
He has been volunteering in these kinds of roles for around 9 years and told us "When you retire, you have to find a new purpose in life and get fire back in your belly to do whatever it is you choose to do.”
He continued "I can’t sit still as I have some issues with my back, but I find it helps to be busy. When you look around after a hard day’s work, it really is pleasing to see the results.”
Fellow volunteer, Martyn Davis, is a member of South East Essex Organic Gardeners (SEEOG) and keen on orchard conservation. He spends much of his time volunteering across conservation and wildlife projects in Leigh, Hadleigh and Daws Heath, but enjoys volunteering at the Orchard when he can. He told us "My Grandson is autistic, so I am keen to help charities like Trust Links that do a crucial job supporting people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.”
Trust Links hold regular work parties at St Laurence Orchard and anyone is welcome to get stuck in. The next work party is 1st July and the next public event is Apple Day being held on Saturday 5th October from 11am – 2pm. For more about the Orchard call 01702 213134 or visit www.trustlinks.org/st-laurence-orchard